If you grew up in the UK during the 1950s and 60s, you would no doubt have seen luxury motor cars with a sphinx mascot on the bonnet. These cars were manufactured by Armstrong Siddeley, a motor manufacturer founded just after the First World War in 1919. When I was a (very) young soldier stationed on Salisbury Plain, the owner of the newsagent shop on The Packway at Larkhill own both Armstrong Siddeley Star and Sapphire cars, business must have been good!
The company was created following the purchase by Armstrong Whitworth of Siddeley-Deasy, a manufacturer of fine motor cars, that were marketed to the top echelon of society. After the merge of companies this focus on quality continued throughout in the production of cars, aircraft engines, gearboxes for tanks and buses, rocket and torpedo motors, and the development of railcars. Company mergers and takeovers with Hawker Aviation and Bristol Aero Engines saw the continuation of the car production but the production of cars ceased in August 1960.
The company was absorbed into the Rolls-Royce conglomerate who were interested in the aircraft and aircraft engine business. Eventually the remaining spares and all motor car interests were sold to the Armstrong Siddeley Owners Club Ltd, who now own the patents, designs, copyrights and trademarks, including the name Armstrong Siddeley. These rights do not include the trade mark for watches in Class 14, which is registered to Time Factors.
The cars were mainly luxury saloons and advertising was aimed very strongly at the upper classes and depicted a luxury lifestyle. These cars were affordable only by the privileged and were a symbol of success. The Armstrong Siddeley wristwatch is a fitting tribute to these cars with its timeless classic styllng and, like the cars, will only be enjoyed by a limited number of owners.
The Armstrong Siddeley Limited Edition is guaranteed for two years and will be supplied in an Armstrong Siddeley glass lacquered natural wood box.
ARMSTRONG SIDDELEY LIMITED EDITION OF 100 PIECES PRS-41
316L stainless steel, polished top and brushed sides
Diameter 42mm, 46mm across including crown
Lug to lug height 52mm
Thickness 12mm to the top of the crystal
Lug spacing 22mm
Anti-magnetic 4800 A/m
Water resistance 100 metres/330 feet
Weight 90 grammes including strap
Screw back, sapphire crystal view back
Sterling silver dial, cream coloured with gold plated diamond cut indices
Faceted polished Dauphin hands, rose gold plated
Unitas 6498 extensively modified with screwed Glucydur balance with Nivarox hairspring, swan-neck regulator, 3/4 top plate with Geneva Stripes and blued screws
Alligator grain calf leather strap fitted with signed deployant clasp